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Rodney Mazinter: the power of the written word

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Rodney Mazinter was a passionate Zionist throughout his life who believed in the power of the written word to affect change.

On reflection on his long service to the South African Zionist Federation Cape Council (SAZFCC), Mazinter said, An ardent Israel supporter, admirer, and believer in Israel’s people and their achievements, I have found in the SAZF Cape Council a vehicle through which I’m able to play a role in support of fellow Jews living in their historical homeland.

“What really motivates me is that in just 74 years, Israel has moved away from being another agrarian society and a haven for the Jews of Europe and the world after the Holocaust. It has gone on to more than pay its dues in being leaders of international development in the fields of technology, business, conservation, medicine, justice, and democracy. I very much want to play a role, albeit small, in this journey.”

He played a valued and varied role in Cape communal organisations, including serving as vice-chairperson of the SAZFCC.

Mazinter had a talent for writing, a wealth of factual and historical knowledge, and an ability to understand the political nuance of the South African and Israeli landscape.

He took his passion and talent in these endeavours, and utilised them in the interest of his great loves, South Africa, Israel, and the Jewish people.

Mazinter was often the first point of call when a third party response was needed in defence of Israel in the media. As a veteran columnist, he could pick apart much of the hateful diatribe spewed across the papers, and he did so with cunning tenacity and meticulous research. His knowledge base was incomparable, and he used this to support Zionism and the indigenous sovereign state of Israel.

Furthermore, Mazinter was a seasoned novelist, journalist, and poet. His penmanship was formidable, emotive, and often gut-wrenching.

His first novel, By A Mighty Hand, documented Jewish life in the early 20th century, ultimately culminating in the Holocaust. Once again, Rodney applied the talent he was given to shine a light on a pivotal part of history, not only chronicling Jewish life in this era but offering his unique perspective.

Mazinter was a true friend to Christian Zionists. Chris Eden from Bridges for Peace said he would “truly be missed and that “he always showed a heartfelt welcome towards the Christian community”. “We pay tribute to his contribution in the area of his advocacy, his warmth, and friendship,” Eden said.

Those who had the honour and pleasure of working with him are experiencing a profound sense of loss. We share our condolences with his wife, Mavis, children, Luisa and Jonathan, and their families. He will be remembered for his sense of humour, his integrity, and his willingness to always give support even when it wasn’t asked of him.

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